Posted: November 19
Ahhh, The space flight sim, Freelancer, Wing Commander, Elite, classics all.
More recently we've had Sol Exodus, Strike Suit Zero and Strike Vector. Now we've got Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen on the horizon.
So how does Starlight Inception compare to the pack? Starlight Reception
If the majority of reviews already out there are to be believed, Starlight Inception doesn't compare well at all!
Following a kick-starter campaign and period of "Early Access" Starlight Inception saw a final release in April 2014 to a barrage of negativity.
There were complaints about the controls, the graphics, the game mechanics, the campaign, pretty much everything, but was all this criticism valid? The internet is full of haters and it can be all too easy to go along with what the "cool kids" are saying, maybe it was just a case of internet "bandwagoning".
Adopting a philosophy of "You can't believe everything you read" Let's fire the game up and take a look for ourselves!Starlight Deception
I'm a sucker for a future time line and Starlight Inception doesn't disappoint in this regard.
Upon hitting the "play" button we're treated to a suitably melodramatic narration of events leading from present day through the colonization of space and the rise and fall of various factions.
At its end you will find yourself in 2114 stationed onboard the USF Midway and ready to earn your wings. Starlight Direction
Following the stirring lesson in future history the screen jumps to a static image of a "room" inside the USF Midway, where what I think is supposed to be a character model, sits unmoving on a seat and in his own ham-fisted way, explains his motivations as to why he joined the USF.
The quality of the facial model and "animation" here is so bad its almost laughable and when I say "animation" the only thing moving here are the characters lips as he opens and closes his mouth like a fish gasping for air in a short animated loop which completely ignores the dialogue.
Escape Hatch Entertainment obviously believe that lip-synching is unnecessary polish.
It's at this moment that a very wooden, very Irish accent echoes through the speakers demanding that I report to the ready room. Starlight Induction
I'm filled with relief as the camera drops into a first person view and I no longer have to look at the "minecraft meets elephant man" visage gasping at the screen.
I stumble blindly around the some grey corridors until I find the ready room, which looks suspiciously like the room where Mr Voxel delivered his opening monologue.
Here we're treated to another brief cinematic as we're introduced to another unsurprisingly blocky faced man (I suspect a relation) who seems to be in charge. His mouth opens and closes at random as he delivers his orders (It's like watching an old overdubbed kung-fu movie).
Unnervingly I notice that his mouth continues to open and close after he's delivered his instructions and all is silent.
(Due to the blocky likeness and similar mouth malfunction to our original chunky faced colleague I'm beginning to suspect there will be some inbreeding in humanities future).
Anyway... He wants me to strap on a fighter and earn my wings by way of shooting some stuff, which is fine by me, so I click a button and off we go! Starlight Inspection
Finally it's time to get behind the stick of a spaceship, maybe now the game will shine, this is after all what this game is all about.
First impressions on launch are actually quite good, following the blocky faced potential inbreds on the Midway, the graphics now look pretty decent. The ship models are polished and the skybox is almost beautiful.
I'm starting to feel better as I look out of the window of my little spaceship at the Earth shining below me.
Maybe things aren't so bad after all.Starlight Correction
I fly to some waypoints, I shoot some things. Eat your heart out Mark Hamill, I'm the wing commander now!
Unfortunately, the missions themselves quickly start to feel hollow and repetitive.
Point the nose of your ship at a way point, fly there, shoot some uninteresting targets that you can't really see until you're on top of them, fly to the next way point.
Rinse and Repeat.
It all just feels a little flat and uninspired. Starlight Objection
The controls can feel a little clunky at times, the physics of flight are questionable at best and the enemy AI is so woeful it brings me back to my theory about inbreeding.
Everything here is functional, fly, shoot, fly, shoot. It just doesn't click with me, nothing feels satisfying.
The combat is underwhelming, the campaign is mediocre, The voice acting is wooden. Like I said, everything is functional at best.Starlight Reflection
... and at its best, when everything is working in its favour, Starlight Inception can reach the dizzying heights of mediocrity for whole minutes at a time. It's such a shame, I love the space combat genre and I really wanted to like this title.
Whilst it's not quite as bad as some reviewers would have you believe, It is far, far away from being a good game. Unless you've got some time to kill and money to burn I would suggest that this is one to avoid. Find my full review and others LINKED HERE[www.review-well.com]